The light bulb was the ‘killer app’ during the electrification of our society. Until a few years ago it was decided to say goodbye to this workhorse. The intended successor – the Compact Fluorescent Lamp – was not exactly embraced by the consumer. Yet this lamp paved the way for energy-efficient lighting.

The Led-now is reaping the benefits. Whether it be standard lighting for the home or industrial pendant lights that serves many purposes, these light sources produced little light and were inconvenient to use since the fuel had to be topped up regularly and open flames were very dangerous. Gas lamps were a great success but remained dangerous due to the open fire and the toxic fumes. Numerous theaters lit by gas lamps went up in flames, resulting in many deaths.

The world needed a safer type of lamp.

The Invention Of The Light Bulb

Electric light

That first practical electricity source was then used by Humphry Davy for further experiments. He took huge numbers of batteries and a strip of platinum and passed an electrical current through it until it lit up. A second light-producing experiment used an arc between two carbon rods. The electric arc finally became the first commercialized version of electric light, also known as the arc lamp.

He produced an intense light that could not be dimmed. Moreover, the lamp still produced unpleasant fumes and the bars had to be replaced regularly.

Light bulb

Tens of years of innovative experiments eventually led to the incandescent lamp. Inventors Joseph Swan in the United Kingdom and Thomas Alva Edison in the United States came up with the light bulb but they were certainly not the first to experiment with these lamps.

New industrial companies hired inventors who experimented with all kinds of materials and constructions, with the aim of extending the life of the lamp. Again, decades of experimentation preceded it. A few more primitive applications were also needed before the necessary elements for the so-called tube lamp were ready in the early 1930s. Then the Second World War began. The better lighting of the fluorescent lights was positively received by the production industry during the war.

The use of fluorescent lights increased rapidly. Consumers in Europe and North America who were used to the warm light of the GLS bulbs were not so keen on the cold fluorescent light in their homes.

Compact Fluorescent Lamp

As a result joint efforts to reduce energy consumption, governments initiated stimulating studies into more efficient types of light. This time it concerned the Compact Fluorescent Lamp or CFL. This way it was possible to turn this lamp in the same socket that previously only fit GLS bulbs. Initially, only Philips commercialized this lamp, which came on the market in 1981.

The first CFL weighed more than half a kilo and was so bulky that it only fit into a few lampshades. So it wasn’t that surprising that people didn’t really get warm for this new lamp. ClfThe Compact Fluorescent Lamp – better known as the energy-saving lamp.

LED Lamps

The first known applications of LED lamps were the tiny red indicators on a variety of electronic devices, as well as the LED matrix displays on the first desktop calculators. As often used in technology, the first applications were limited to a few simple applications. The same thing happened with Led.

Large-scale IoT application

A few years later, in 2012, Philips again launched an astonishing novelty, namely LED lamps that could produce millions of colors, change their intensity and were ‘connected’ to the IoT. These new lights signal the age of new technology that can be operated wirelessly with a smartphone, even when the user is away from home. In addition, apps can be programmed to change the light intensity or color. The light bulb was the killer app during the electrification.

Philips Hue, the first IoT application on a large scale, the user can completely determine color, intensity, and atmosphere with his smartphone.